Tag Archives: Nintendo DS

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

My girlfriend and their roommate raved about this game after they had both played it and talked about how great the storyline was. Now, I’m a sucker for a great plot and good storyline. I lived through their extolling of their game for a while until my girlfriend told me it was time for me to play. I sat down with her pink Nintendo DS and started poking all over the screen discovering just what they were raving about.

For the most part, they were right. This game was pretty ridiculously good. There’s a lot of investigation pointing and clicking with very descriptive dialogue translated from the original Japanese game. A creepy painting is pictured of the events taking place on the RMS Titanic, or so it may seem. The music perfectly accompanies the eerie feeling of threat and death that holds sway over the characters of the game. Combine this with a puzzle

The characters of 999.

solver’s wet dream, and you have 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.

This is the story of Junpei, the character you play as through the game. Trapped in a ship’s guest quarters, you must use your wits in order to escape from a door in front of you labeled with a “5”. Once you’ve done this, the real game begins. You find yourself in a fancy looking reception hall, surrounded by all the trappings of what would appear familiar to anyone who has seen the movie Titanic. You encounter 8 other members of who will come to be your friends, your enemies, and casualties. It is up to your decisions to decide just exactly what will happen, with a few clicks of your DS stylus.

A little taste of what the game looks like (on right).

Being a not so puzzle inclined person, this game constantly frustrated me from beginning to end. Being a typical man, I like my video games to be hack and slash, gun down and slaughter. The subtle approach of solving a Sudoku doesn’t really tickle my fancy. It was only lucky that my girlfriend is so loving and patient and helped me with every puzzle. She even played some of the game for me. If you read this Kim, I love you very much for that.

I have to tell you though, if you don’t like puzzles or still frame gaming animation, don’t play this. It’s for a specific audience, (Wikipedia said in the vein of a puzzle related Mass Effect 2 by how you choose your fate) and not everyone likes to solve puzzles and use their brain as much as others. That’s not to say some people are stupid, it’s just a difference in gaming style. I like mindless self indulgence killing

Who’s this masked man? Play to find out!

games. Or Assassin’s Creed, take your pick. There’s a lot of reading, one of my other favorite pastimes, and that was a plus for this game. What I struggled to get into was the over-elaborate writing style of the translation. What could have been said in far fewer and more compelling words was long winded and said in such a bizarre way that I felt I was being pandered to as an uneducated, quaint, country bumpkin.

But my oh my, this plot has some really good points. If only to play it for plot, do so. Go out and rent the game for a few days with your Cheat Code Central at the ready and bust through this game on the double. There’s great reveals about the character’s pasts and intelligent information about scientific discoveries and thrilling mysteries of the past century. There’s killings and betrayal, and the occasional stab in the back. What you have to know about this game is you have to play it at least 2 or 3 times to win. You sit down, you reach and imperfect ending, and then you save and start back from the beginning, making different decisions and such. This gets a bit annoying, but the plot does make up for it. You have to bust your finger on the D-pad a whole bunch in this game because you can’t just skip huge chunks of dialogue you’ve already heard 4 times before. That’s a let down, but just wait.

The game begins… With dialogue.

In the end, this game really is worth playing through. If bunches of game reviewers can rave about this for its amazing plot and challenging gameplay, consider yourself a good player and go out and try it. And there’s a second one in the works for those of you who are already fans out there. Get past the dialogue and skipping and puzzling and enjoy it as an interactive story. Hell, if there was a Lord of the Rings game or a Harry Potter game that was purely interactive and not 1st person shooting and running, I’d play it in a heartbeat. 999 isn’t quite my game, but I’m glad I played it to know the mystery behind it. Maybe for those of you out there who like the Saw movies like I do, you might also find some enjoyment in the traps and puzzles. Let me know what you think and get back to me on this 7.999 out of 10 game.

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Claymore: The Female Berserk

So we just finished watching this anime in my Anime Club, and I have to admit, it was ridiculously great. As the title of my blog suggest, it was in fact the female version of Berserk, an anime I reviewed earlier (just as equally badass.). I had really no complaints about this show from beginning to end, but let’s get into the heart of the show to start off.

What you have to know about this anime is that it centers around three species that, you could say, derive from humans. There are humans (us), Yoma (evil creatures that resemble intelligent, radioactive zombies/demons) and Claymores, badass women who go around, part Yoma, part human, and destroy the evil Yomas that take on human form. Sensing the Yoki (you could relate this idea of energy to Ki in DBZ, a lot of the fight sequences are similar, just add swords.) of the Yoma, the Claymores go to fear stricken towns and easily eradicate the Yomas.

Now here’s the kicker. Wait. I can’t give away the kicker. You’ll just have to watch. After you get through the first 8 or 9 episodes, things really start to spice up and the blood really starts to fly. I wish I could say more, but it really is a twisting and turn-filled anime ride that is worth taking.

After having watched this over such an expansive amount of time, I find it a bit hard remembering exactly the plot, but that didn’t stop me from sitting silent in my chair (mostly) and just following the plot quite religiously. The animation and drawing is fantastic. The fight scenes, although laden with unrealistic sword clashing and sparks, is quite amazing to watch. You definitely get a DBZ feel watching this as it plays out as every major goodie and baddie talk out their strategy to the “audience.” (Really, who does this? I would complain about the strangness of talking out battle plans to your opponent, but I guess there would be a lot of dead air without it…) The back stories are great and there’s next to no recap in the entire anime. A definite selling point for me.

The Japanese sub was great and I almost want to watch the dub to see if it’s just as good. I mean come on, Todd Haberkorn as Raki, a completely disposable character and letdown of the entire series? That’s great. They even get Monica Rial, (Miria) Caitlin Glass, (Deneve) and Brina Palencia (Priscilla) to play 3 of the biggest characters, and who are, coincidentally my 3 favorite female voice actors (mostly for their work in Gunslinger Girl). Even Vic Mignogna and Christopher Sabat (MY FAVORITE) make appearances in a few episodes. So yeah, might watch that…

But yeah, this show is great. Battle scene after battle scene, back stories on unbelievable characters, and big, badass bosses? SO glad that they came out with a video game for this. It came out in Japan for the Nintendo DS and should probably be here soon. I’ll let you know if I get a hold of it. (Cool feature, control Yoma with the stylus and screen.) So yes, this anime was great. 8.3 out of 10

 

… And if anybody is really paying attention to my ratings, I know I haven’t really given anything a bad review. If you feel I’m wrong, post a comment and let me know. I’d love the feedback.